The RUTA Cocktail Challenge 2024 has crowned its victor


The RUTA Cocktail Challenge 2024 has crowned its victor! On May 7, at the OTB Studio, 12 talented bartenders from across Ukraine vied for the top spot in this national competition.

TM RUTA’s “Magic Potion,” a nominee in the World Travel Awards 2023-2024 under the category “The Visiting Card of the Country/Brand – the Visiting Card of the Country,” orchestrated the event. Their artisanal balm infused each cocktail with the essence of Ukrainian flavor, showcasing the diverse palette of local tastes.

Spanning the breadth of Ukraine, contestants hailed from Lviv to Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia to Ivano-Frankivsk, Dnipro to Kyiv, infusing their concoctions with regional flair and creativity. From the initial 70 applications, the most innovative 12 advanced to the final showdown.

The discerning judges, evaluating not just taste and aroma but also concept, presentation, and cultural resonance, were captivated by the contestants’ ingenuity. From poetic presentations in Lviv to bespoke beeswax tableware in Chernivtsi, each participant brought their unique touch.

Drawing on an array of local ingredients, from Jerusalem artichoke to buckwheat, poppy seeds to smoked pear, contestants crafted cocktails that embodied the spirit of Ukraine. But it was Volodymyr Kutko from Vinnytsia’s Polunochniki bar who claimed victory with his innovative creation, “Khyst.” This remarkable cocktail, inspired by traditional Ukrainian borscht, was served in a whimsical “jug of borscht” alongside croutons and sour cream, perfectly complemented by RUTA’s distinctive balm.

Every cocktail presented at the competition left a lasting impression, not only on the judges and organizers but also on the broader bar community. With initiatives like the RUTA Cocktail Challenge, Ukrainian mixology is poised to carve out its place alongside the world’s classics, promising a triumphant journey onto the global stage.